A/N: Slash. Yes, slash. Don't be hatin'. I'm trying to try new things.

It is SUBTLE slash though. ...Sorry, yaoi fanatics. You're welcome, yaoi dislikers.


A monster tears my insides. A monster that doesn't belong. The monster is me.

My father watches me.

And I beg, I plead, I demand to know, "Why? Why did you give me this?"

And his one human amber eye, partly shrouded by silver hair, looks at once proud and despairing. Because this makes us human. Because this is you, my father tells me.

I feel I would prefer to be the machine my body is.

A soul is a bothersome thing, the Devil tells me. The world would move much easier if we were all machines. Machines. I suppose that's why I befriended your father – he aspired to be a machine, cold and unfeeling. It would be easier not to feel, don't you think?

"Yes." He is a mirror image of myself – a hardened, powerful, ancient image. Or, to be more correct, I am the image of him. He came first.

A smirk from him. But emotion is the backbone of everything humanity is. Emotion makes you what you are.

My body is the machine. My soul is Reniseri.

My happiness is Reniseri. My love is Reniseri. My rage. My pain.

Soul's a very bothersome thing, child.

You seem down, the human tells me. The feeling.

"Yes," I sullenly reply. Lately, it seems to be my answer to most things.

You mopin' about being a computer? Not being human? Because 's'not true, you know, you're every bit a person as me and the rest of these wackos.

Unfortunately, I realize now all too well that I am human. Too human. I give a bitter laugh. "Oh, no. I know I am."

An inquisitive eyebrow raise. Hazel eyes bore into my being. So what's made you realize?

A computer can't hurt the way I do now.

"A computer would know better than to follow your dumb ass around."

A grin. Buckle in, then, twinkle toes, 'cause I'll let you in on somethin' else: Computers don't tear these slopes, either.

I won't take it from you, my father tells me.

"I know," I reply. The monster's claws dig deeper.

You see, as bothersome as a soul is, it is you, the Devil tells me.

"So then, I myself am bothersome?"

When you put it like that you sound to be insulting yourself. A soul gives you emotion. I know the best of the best, and I know the worst of the worst. There are things that hurt. There are things that ache beyond repair. And there are things that make you hurt so badly you want to die. There are frightening things. There are things that make you want to piss your pants in terror. And then there are the things that make you scream until your throat bleeds.

"I can feel, old man, I know all that."

A sneer, half a scowl. Don't call me 'old man', little boy. I don't look a day over twenty five.

"Oh?" I question it, though it's true – He, like me, is immortal, forever donning a semblance of youth.

Evidently, I haven't explained fear well enough.

"I'm not sure about this."

You're never sure, worry-wires.

The human is right. I am sure of nothing as of late. I feel I'm starting to go as mad as the Devil. Admittedly, it doesn't frighten me like it should.

"Anyway, it's you I'm worried about. I can be fixed up and re-wired and plugged all back together. You can't."

He laughs. More of a guffaw, really. I absolutely can. Why do you think I've got a titanium skeleton?

He thinks himself immortal.

I used to think so too.

I am sorry, Reniseri.

"I know." I know, Father. I know all to well. Better only let one of us be wounded by this, because one of us has to survive.

You were human to begin with. It may as well be you.

Reniseri, you are both interesting and completely confounding. From a man who knows most everything, this is impressive. I have confounded the Devil.

"How so?"

You resent that which keeps you from becoming the thing you resent.

When he words it that way.

"I don't resent the idea of being a machine."

Then why does it terrify you so much?

The simple question stirs something in me almost before I have processed it, and in a very human reaction, my eyes glaze over with tears. "Because without feeling, I... do I even exist at all?"

The Devil laughs as I cry.

Ren, don't look at me like that.

"Like what?" The human makes assumptions. I didn't even look at him.

Like you're just overwhelmingly disappointed in me. I mean, seriously.

"I'm not disappointed." I clarify. "Jealous."


"Because I'm so damn sure you exist, and you're sure of it, too."

He doesn't understand at first. But then he gets it. Well, I'm lookin' at you, and I'm no looney.

"You sure about that?"

I never said I wasn't nuts. I'm just not defined by it like our Devil friend.

"Well I am. So do me a favor and be the sane one, will you?"

No promises.